Block scheduling blocked in Waynesboro

June 25, 1997


Staff Writer, Waynesboro

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The Waynesboro Area School Board Tuesday denied a request by administrators to implement block scheduling at the local high school.

The proposal failed on a 4-4 vote by board members. Board member Leland Lemley was absent.

Block scheduling, also called intensive scheduling, already is used at Greencastle-Antrim Senior High School. It changes the daily schedule of seven or eight 45-minute classes to four 90-minute classes over two semesters. Students get longer, more intensive instruction for half the year, say in math or science the first semester then move to say language and English the second semester.

Critics say some students' attention spans are too short for the longer classes. Others say students lose continuity by staying off a subject for as long as nine months.


The new schedule would have taken effect in September 1998.

School Superintendent Robert Mesaros said the administration has been planning the changeover for nearly two years. A decision from the board was needed to move ahead with the final planning, he said.

Mesaros told the board block scheduling would improve academic performance for all students and well as improve behavior, attendance and attitudes.

He said administrators, students and teachers visited about eight schools in Pennsylvania and Washington County that are using block scheduling. He said none would go back to the old way.

"All students benefit because teachers have the time to design more meaningful learning experiences, work together in teams and work elbow to elbow with students on a more regular basis," Mesaros said.

Voting for the new schedule were members Joseph Bock, Lawrence Glenn, Michael Mahr and board President Robert J. Ternes. Voting against were John Keller, Donald Weller, K. Marilyn Smith and Charles Mills.

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